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No. 25 Women’s Lacrosse Falls Short to No. 8 Loyola 14-10

No. 25 Penn State women’s lacrosse (2-4) fell to No. 8 Loyola (4-0) Saturday afternoon in its second road game of the season.

After a close first half, the Nittany Lions couldn’t chip away at the goal differential. They stayed in the game for as long as they could but ultimately fell short to a powerful Loyola team.

How It Happened

Penn State began the game with a bang after securing the draw control from a dominant Loyola draw team. After an unsuccessful shot from Kristin O’Neill, the Loyola defense completed a clear.

The Greyhounds looked for a shot of their own, but goalkeeper Ashley Bowan came up with a big save. Today marked Bowan’s first start of the season for the Nittany Lions.

Georgia Latch handled a feed from behind the goal to get Loyola on the board 1-0. Just over 20 seconds later, the Greyhounds won the draw and quickly advanced down the field. Sydni Black dumped a shot over the top of Bowan’s head off of a crease roll.

Capitalizing off of a Loyola turnover, Penn State slowed the ball down offensively. This allowed Gretchen Gilmore to drive from the right side and slam in a goal for the Nittany Linos.

As the first media timeout got underway, Loyola held the 2-1 lead.

Penn State secured its second draw control of the game after a false start from Loyola. Gilmore bounced in her second goal of the game to tie it up with 6:44 to go in the first quarter.

A green card was awarded to Meghan Murray, giving the Loyola offense a man-up advantage. Chase Boyle quick-sticked it into the bottom of the goal to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Greyhounds.

Latch quickly put up another shot off of a dump from behind the goal. This doubled the Loyola lead with a little over five minutes to play in the quarter.

A bounce shot from Black through the legs of Bowan gave the Greyhounds a three-goal lead. The offense was moving quickly and efficiently with each possession.

Bowan recorded a good save which was then followed by a Loyola turnover, giving the Nittany Lions their first meaningful possession in minutes. They could not find the back of the net against the Greyhound defense.

In classic O’Neill fashion, she whizzed one past Lauren Spence’s head, stick-side high.

Loyola charged down the field, attempting to monopolize the last 20 seconds of play. With two shot attempts, thity couldn’t find the net, and the quarter came to a close with Loyola up 5-3.

Penn State managed to scrounge up a draw control after the ball ricocheted off of a Loyola stick. Gilmore let a wicked sidearm loose to secure herself a hat trick for the day. Penn State was only down one goal from Loyola at 5-4.

Tiptoeing around the crease, Boyle handled a feed and slammed one of her own in the back of the net with 13:37 to play in the second quarter.

Black went in for another shot attempt, but it was saved by Bowan and effortlessly scooped up by Sammy Dupack. The Nittany Lions sprinted down the field and set O’Neill up for a one-on-one against her defender. Her bounce shot tightened the differential to 6-5.

Strong defense from Ellie Hollin forced a turnover and allowed the Nittany Lions to progress the ball back to their offensive end. Gilmore missed the goal wide, and Loyola embarked on a long-range clear attempt.

Latch shot it low right alongside her defender, giving the junior a hat trick with 8:51 to play in the half.

Bowan racked up her third save, only for a wide-angled missed shot from O’Neill on the opposite end. The back-and-forth nature of the game spoke highly of the intensity both teams brought to the rainy day.

The first failed clear attempt of the day was caused by Latch as Brooke Hoss was awarded an offensive foul. Loyola was granted the man-up opportunity and a media timeout stopped the action for a moment.

Catie Corolla capitalized on the man-up offense and found the gap right in front of the goal. She put Loyola up three at 8-5 with just over five minutes to play in the half.

An effortless dump to the bottom left corner from Gilmore off of a pass from O’Neill helped to put Penn State back in the game. The Nittany Lions were determined to not let the Greyhounds sit at the three-goal lead for long.

Regan Kielmeyer cut around the crease and got her first goal of the season for Loyola after being fed from the top of the circle. With just 17.9 seconds to play in the half, Loyola extended its lead.

The half came to a close with the Greyhounds up three at 9-6.

O’Neill took the draw for the Nittany Lions to begin the second half, but Loyola secured the control before turning it over moments later. The rainy conditions produced errors from both ends of the field as the third quarter got underway.

Boyle slipped in a behind-the-back shovel shot past Sydney Manning, who took the goal in the second half for the Nittany Lions. The early score for the Greyhounds gave them their largest lead of the game.

A wide-open cut from Boyle down the center of the field moments later put another goal on the board for Loyola. Penn State now trailed by five goals, 11-6, and was forced to call a timeout.

Boyle won the draw control coming out of the timeout, the 100th of her career. The Penn State defense was doing everything it could to not allow the Greyhounds another goal. A dangerous follow-through from Boyle yielded a no-goal call from the referees, and Penn State took the ball and headed in the other direction.

Hoss was awarded a free-position shot and completed it with a hard bottom-to-top bouncer. The goal was the first goal for the Nittany Lions that wasn’t scored by Gilmore or O’Neill. The Greyhounds still held the lead 11-7 with eight minutes to play in the third quarter.

https://twitter.com/PennStateWLAX/status/1763995284340679149

With shot attempts and turnovers across the board, Loyola finally found the back of the net again with help from Boyle, her fifth of the game.

O’Neill pocketed a low shot with a little over two minutes in the quarter to go, bringing the score to 12-8. The goal was needed for the Nittany Lions, who were struggling to find the net in the second half.

The third quarter came to a close with Loyola holding its four-goal lead strong.

A goal from Elisa Faklaris marked the first notable action in the fourth quarter. The Greyhounds extended their lead to 13-8 with 11:33 to play in the game.

O’Neill continued to produce for the Nittany Lions. She shot stick-side high over Spence on a free-position shot to narrow the gap to four.

Black was no match to the size of Manning in the goal, using her chest protector to bounce the ball out of the cage. Boyle eventually ripped a shot from the top of the 8-meter to continue the dominance from Loyola.

Lauren Saltz brought the score to 14-10, attempting to narrow the gap with limited time remaining. Additional shots from the Nittany Lions failed, and Loyola called a timeout to strategize for the remaining four minutes of play.

Two unlucky back-to-back shots from Penn State weren’t helpful as it attempted to make a comeback in the remaining few minutes.

The Greyhounds remained undefeated as the game came to a close and they secured the 14-10 victory.

Takeaways

  • Penn State had a large lack of assists and scoring spread today. Among the 10 goals from the Nittany Lions, the only contributors were Gilmore, O’Neill, Saltz, and Hoss. In order to put up more goals and effectively work around the strong Loyola defense, Penn State needed to share the wealth more on offense. This doesn’t discount the work from the scorers, but the Nittany Lions have proved they have more offensive power than what they demonstrated today.
  • The lack of secured draw controls for the Nittany Lions was a key factor in today’s loss. The Greyhounds are historically known to perform well on the circle, and that was evident today. Penn State only won five total draws, whereas Loyola went for 23. If you can’t win the draw, you can’t win the game.
  • The Nittany Lions have a long road ahead of them this season, with three more road games remaining in their current stretch. As they head into Big Ten play next weekend, it’s more pertinent than ever to dust off their performance on the road.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions are slated to begin Big Ten play on Saturday, March 9, as they travel to Rutgers. The game will begin at 1 p.m.

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About the Author

Ally Eaton

Ally is a freshman public relations major from York, Pennsylvania and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She gets to write awesome feature stories and create epic content for our social media pages. Ally is a lover of country music and Trader Joe's. If you'd like to discuss March Madness or your most creative coffee order, feel free to contact her on Twitter @allyeaton31 or in her inbox [email protected].

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